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Helen Suzman Papers Bestanddeel
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Letters January-June 1986

  • ZA HPRA A2084-A-Aa-Aa1-Aa1.1-Aa1.1.11-Aa1.1.12.1
  • Bestanddeel
  • January-June 1986
  • Part of Helen Suzman Papers

NOTE: Page 1 has been erroneously marked Aa1.1.11.1. Includes: 10/01/1986: an appeal to Helen Suzman to act against the death sentence given to Robert Mashale by his mother Norah and family; 21/01/1986: a letter from Johanna Mogoeng concerning her son Aaron; this file also has other letters from mothers and wives of prisoners.

Letters post-1990

Includes: 2002-2005: items concerning the case of Mlamuli Ndlovu (attempted murder, robbery & attempted robbery): in a letter to 'Hannes' dated 20/01/2005 Helen Suzman signs herself "Warm regards, Helen, aka The sweet bird from the blood-soaked south!" [Hannes might well be Judge Hannes Fagan]; 2004-2005: correspondence concerning the sister of Dave Montgomery who is in prison for murdering her abusive husband; in a letter dated 24/02/2005 Helen Suzman comments that "conditions in prisons were disgusting during the apartheid era, and by and large they are as bad, if not worse, now.".

Representations 1966-1968

  • ZA HPRA A2084-A-Aa-Aa1-Aa1.2-Aa1.2.1-Aa1.2.1.2
  • Bestanddeel
  • 1966-1968
  • Part of Helen Suzman Papers

Includes: 25/05/1966: Helen Suzman letter to Minister of Justice hoping that prisoners who have committed "offences against the state" will not be excluded from any proposed amnesty and, if they are, that they will at least be upgraded; 16/02/1967: Helen Suzman letter to Minister of Justice & Prisons — Pelser - about her visit to Robben Island on the morning of 15/02/1967 in the company of General Steyn. Helen Suzman remarks that (Robert) Sobukwe was lonely because he was separated from all other prisoners and the issue of getting rail warrants to enable his wife to visit him; she also raises the problems of other prisoners such as getting permission to study — especially those who are illiterate — lack of adequate clothing, food and photos of their families; she met with Nelson Mandela, Neville Alexander, (Govan) Mbeki and others. Alexander was having problems with his studies whilst Mandela's chief complaint concerned warder van Rensburg at the Robben Island quarry; generally there was a need for hot water, tobacco and attention to the grading system; 08/12/1967: Helen Suzman letter to Gwendolyn Carter (Dept. of African Studies, North-West University, Evanston, Illinois, USA) concerning a book she had sent to Helen Suzman called "The Transkei"; she mentions the "pipe-dream" of the homelands policy and the "hopelessness of ever believing that the homelands can offer any sort of viable alternative to Africans" and the growing concern for women "who land up in bleak settlement areas" such as one near Queenstown; 22/02/1968: letter to Helen Suzman from Stephanie Sachs [wife of Albie Sachs] asking whether Helen Suzman had seen any female "non-white political prisoners serving long-term sentences" and where they are being held; Helen Suzman says she hopes to be able to do this during the parliamentary recess and goes on to say that she hopes Stephanie and Albie have settled down happily in London; 16/04/1968: letter from I. Stein, now in London, concerning an assault on him whilst in Pollsmoor on 18/10/1966.

Representations 1975

03/01/1975: letter from a Mrs. Robertson in South Hills — she says "we are poor people", they don't even have a telephone — about her son who is wasting away in Kroonstad Prison though he's only a short-term prisoner and Helen Suzman response.

23/03/1975: letter from Mr. W.G. Anderson to the Mayor of Boksburg about the state of Cinderella Prison.

29/07/1975: Letters to and from Mrs. Phyllis Naidoo at A.J. Gumede & Phyllis Naidoo Attorneys & Conveyancers in Durban concerning Robben Island authorities not accepting a R100 cheque for Billy Nair's studies.

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